Ra Nui believe that “the wine is in the grape”, the focus is on the vineyard, grapes are grown using the time honoured traditions of Sun, Soil and Passion. Ra Nui are small and focused without constraint, this allows the hands-on intensity that only a small winemaker can have.
Grapes are hand picked in the vineyard and transported direct to the winery. At the winery further hand selection takes place discarding any unwanted fruit before transferring to the press. All purity of texture and flavour is retained by whole bunch pressing for all white wines in order to minimise skin contact resulting in juice with fine texture and maximum flavour. The Estate's winemakers see themselves as “guardians” of the grape and adopt a low key non interventionist approach to winemaking.
There are three company vineyards, two are situated at the foot of the Wither Hills and one at high altitude. The Summer Valley Vineyard lies directly to the north in a gently sloping valley and is planted primarily to Sauvignon Blanc and also four different clones of Pinot Noir. The soils are primarily Wither Hill soils with gravel, stone and loess silt deposits.
The second company vineyard is the Cob Cottage Vineyard, situated just to the north of the Wither Hills and fronting onto State Highway, 3kms south of Blenheim township. As well as Sauvignon Blanc this vineyard is planted to various aromatic varieties as well as being close planted with Syrah. Both these vineyards are in a “dry” area , with rain shadows created by the surrounding hills and receive minimal annual rainfall.
The exciting Delta Vineyard, more recently planted in the middle of the Wairau Valley, is one of the highest elevation vineyards in Marlborough. This vineyard sits in a God given perfectly formed North facing bowl, the elevation of the site was formed thousands of years ago with the movement of the nearby seismic plates resulting in an uplifting of this section of the valley. This elevation with low vigour soil, comprising shallow topsoil with some gravels and clay loams, results in a long and cool growing season, far cooler than the lower valley floor. The main hillside has been planted with ten different clones of Pinot Noir on various low vigour rootstock.
There is also a precious small North facing slope with Pinot Gris, again with the intensive close planting. In order to manage this special vineyard, a very narrow (98cm) wide tractor is employed to negotiate the narrow rows, and canopy sprays are effected by helicopter. A very special vineyard requires intense dedication.
At Ra Nui there are several ranges of wine, each distinctive and each crafted to over deliver on value at different price points. The Estate range are crafted wines from primarily estate grown fruit reflecting the best of Marlborough. Intense wines from specific varietals for serious wine lovers reflecting clonal and rootstock selection, sustainable winegrowning, low yields, specific vineyards, sensitive oak treatment, some ageing on less and ageing ability. The everyday Sexy Rexy range are easy drinking wines. A softer style wine with ripe, disticntive fruit characters. Ra Nui we have put years or effort into locating, planting and nurturing uniquely favoured vineyards in the Marlborough region. The Limited Edition range, includes single vineyard wines from the exclusive Cob Cottage Home Vineyard, the label featuring the image of the nearby historic Cob Cottage. These small batch wines are unique and will reward careful cellaring. Very limited production.
Ra Nui are a member of Sustainable Winegrowing New Zealand, an organisation which promotes environmentally focused vineyard practices, and which also aims to provide a quality assurance guarantee from the vineyard to the winery. Ra Nui like to tread softly in the vineyard in the belief that it is a sustainable resource that the generations to come will enjoy, just as the current winemaking team enjoys.